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CCCC - Lee Early College student chosen as PTK Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar

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Click to enlarge,  Audrey Thomas has been named a Phi Theta Kappa 2022 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar.

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Audrey Thomas has been named a Phi Theta Kappa 2022 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar.

04.06.2022College & CommunityCollege GeneralStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - Audrey Thomas from Central Carolina Community College -- a Lee Early College student -- has been named a Phi Theta Kappa 2022 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship. Each scholar receives a commemorative medallion.

Thomas, from Sanford, is studying for an Associate in Science degree -- Cell and Molecular Biology.

"The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges," said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. "We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow's leaders of the global community."

Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service.

"I am honored that I was selected to receive the Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar honor. I am excited to be able to represent Central Carolina Community College and Phi Theta Kappa Beta Sigma Phi," said Thomas. "I take pride in knowing the judges enjoyed listening to the processes and progress of the Ruby McSwain Cougar Market and Downtown Business collaboration project and the way these projects are contributing to helping the college and surrounding Sanford community."

The Ruby McSwain Cougar Market, CCCC's Food Pantry, aspires to support student success by ensuring that no student goes hungry because of a lack of income or access to food. Beta Sigma Phi, the CCCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, co-sponsored a food drive before the Christmas holidays with the following business - 2nd Glances, Added Accents, High Cotton Couture, With Love Boutique, Purple Poodle, and The Eyelight Cafe - who served as donation drop-off sites and graciously offered discounts to those who supported this effort.

Thomas says of her CCCC experience: "I love the career opportunities and experiences I have as being a tutor in biology, chemistry, accounting, business administration, and English. Having a close college community has enabled me to maintain personal connections with my professors to feel comfortable about asking questions in class or on assignments and spending time to learn their teaching style. I also enjoy the opportunity to participate in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society offered at the college. It has enabled me to use resources to help create projects that benefit the college and surrounding communities."

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation's colleges. Learn more at

"For more than 100 years, Phi Theta Kappa has recognized academic excellence and provided two-year college students with opportunities to develop as scholars and leaders. Audrey Thomas exemplifies integrity, compassion, and courage, values shared by both Phi Theta Kappa and Central Carolina Community College. I am beyond thrilled for Audrey and look forward to seeing her thrive as a result of this extraordinary gift," said Daniel Berndt, Advisor of the Beta Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Central Carolina Community College.

Thomas plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "I plan on studying cell and molecular biology with a concentration in astronomy. My goals are to gain a better understanding of cell behavior and to learn how to program cells to respond to unique external stimuli such as zero gravity, radiation and limited oxygen which would extend research and exploration periods in space! I have a goal to land an internship with the National Space and Aeronautics Association or a scientific cellular research company designated to prevent and fight for those born with health impairments through genetic, cellular, and neural coding."

The daughter of Barry and Amanda Thomas, Audrey has placed in Science Olympiad Fermi competitions (she recently placed first in the Cell and Molecular Biology Science Olympiad competition and fourth in the Chemistry Lab Science Olympiad competition), is a Lee County Scholar for Academic Excellence, and has been awarded Central Carolina Community College's Outstanding Student in the Chinese Language.

In addition, she was named a finalist for the prestigious N.C. State University Park Scholarships. "Being selected as a N.C. State Park finalist was amazing," said Thomas. "I made valuable connections throughout the entire application and selection process that left me with a greater appreciation of the great love, family, and support system that I am fortunate to have had my whole life."

Thomas notes that although she has changed her career aspirations many times, all occupations require dedication. "I feel my success has been supported by my mentors, family, and friends through their advice and guidance. I feel it is important to recognize opportunities to create friend groups with similar goals, become active in clubs that emphasize interests, and support causes that are critical in the community," she said.